Red America Starts Off With A Partisan Fizzle

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Blogging, Media

The Washington Post unveiled Red America today, a political blog written by Ben Domenech. Since I first read about this a few days ago, I’ve been looking forward to reading it. After all, this is a big step for a major newspaper/online news provider to do this blog thing in an open and honest way.

So in Ben’s first post, I was hoping to find an interesting meditation on what it means to be a red-starter and what “Red America” really means. What I found instead was a very partisan shot at the MSM.

Yet even in a climate where Republicans hold command of every branch of government, and advocate views shared by a majority of voters, the mainstream media continues to treat red state Americans as pachyderms in the mist – an alien and off-kilter group of suburbanite churchgoers about which little is known, and whose natural habitat is a discomforting place for even the most hardened reporter from the New York Times.

Yes, it’s all about the liberal media. Aliens. Yes, that’s what red staters are. Sure…

See, this is the trap that so many in the blogosphere fall into. They think just because the extreme left brands red staters as crazy, it must also mean that the media does too. Because after all, many reporters self-identify with liberal values so they must be extreme too. Jeezus…

Ben, that horse is dead. Quit beating it or else you’re going to become very uninteresting in very short order.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 21st, 2006 and is filed under Blogging, Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 Responses to “Red America Starts Off With A Partisan Fizzle”

  1. Meredith Says:

    Justin,

    From Ben’s blog . . . a little off the topic of your post, but –

    “Democrats who have won major elections since 1992 have, with very few exceptions, been the ones who distanced themselves from the shrieking denizens of their increasingly extreme base, soft-pedaled their positions on divisive issues and adopted the rhetoric and positions of the right — pro-free market, pro-business, pro-faith, tough on crime and strongly in favor of family values.”

    This is why, after the last election, I did not like the idea of liberals moving towards the middle in order to compromise. It just gets used against us later. Now, according to this guy, it’s proof that “normal Democrats” don’t share the same views as the extreme left does on “the economy, marriage, abortion, guns, the death penalty, health care, welfare, taxes, and a dozen other major domestic policy issues.” Ummm, maybe I am an extreme leftist, but I do happen to share those views, and most democrats I know do too. I’m just so tired of giving in to the right in order to stay alive in the democratic process. Democrats need to stand their ground and stop letting the right bully them into adopting their ideals.

    By the way, this guy seems like a melodramatic blowhard. And, speaking of bagging on the MSM, they could hire people (ahem – Washington Post, this means you) who are not such caricatures of the extreme ends of the spectrum. It makes both parties look bad.

  2. T. Longren Says:

    Washington Post Gets Red

    The ever-liberal Washington Post is starting up a new blog. The blog is named Red America and is being run by Ben Domenech, co-founder of RedState.

    The launch of this new blog has apparently upset some liberals. Not sure why, I thought these…

  3. Brian in MA Says:

    The “media is biased towards the left” is not a dead horse, it is one that is quite alive and still running because it still holds true. The one exception for TV is FOX News, with most of the rest of the pack hosting types like Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and Jack Cafferty.

    The MSM will of course, continue to tell you they are reporters, not editorialists. Here’s a hint: If I thought I could trust the mainstream news sources, I wouldn’t be at your blog. Blogs have a human element to them that the MSM doesn’t. The MSM these days is little more than a tool to advance the Democratic Party, and anyone who cares has realized this by now. If it wern’t for MSM incompetence and bias, wonderful blogs such as yours would be unneccesary in order to get the real story out.

  4. GN Says:

    “Democrats who have won major elections since 1992 have, with very few exceptions, been the ones who distanced themselves from the shrieking denizens of their increasingly extreme base, soft-pedaled their positions on divisive issues and adopted the rhetoric and positions of the right � pro-free market, pro-business, pro-faith, tough on crime and strongly in favor of family values.�

    Republicans who distance themselves from the shreiking denizens of their extreme base generally end up being called Democrats by their own kind. Anyone who even entertains a Centrist view is chastised and cast aside. The only way to be considered a Republican by the current extreme base in the Republican Party is to “do what you are told, don’t EVER challenge and parrot whatever the leadership says”. Speaking of Fox they have some well paid parrots.

  5. Justin Gardner Says:

    The “media is biased towards the left� is not a dead horse, it is one that is quite alive and still running because it still holds true. The one exception for TV is FOX News, with most of the rest of the pack hosting types like Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and Jack Cafferty.

    Brian, it’s tough to take your points seriously because your comments are by and large very partisan. And please…ESPECIALLY when the left is running Chris Matthews through the wringer on sites like Media Matters, etc., this point hardly holds water. One other thing is that Olbermann and Cafferty have editorial shows…you know…like O’Reilly’s.

    I appreciate the comment about coming to blogs, but we comment on news stories and give our personal take. That’s not objective and just because we’re okay with being subjective doesn’t mean you should trust us anymore. Objectivity doesn’t exist, but the MSM doesn their damndest to come as close to it as they can in real time. Sometimes stories lean left and sometimes they lean right. It’s a tough job and they’re doing the best they can. What doesn’t help them is this consistent badgering by critics that they have a liberal bias, when 99% of the stories that come over the wire you couldn’t tell came from a liberal or a conservative.

    The horse is dead. Let’s bury it.

  6. Charles Jordan Says:

    I don’t believe the redamerica blog will permit messages from Republicans who disagree with Bush. i’m still waiting for my message to appear and I know someone else who is still waiting…

  7. Charles Jordan Says:

    Message for GN: years ago I served in Korea when a KOTUSA soldier who spoke good english told me how much he admired America’s freedom to say what you want. He said in his country one never spoke ill of the President–except in your home–and even then one only spoke in whispers.

    I’d say that’s just about where the GOP is today. it’s not possible to be in the party and disagree or criticise the president…we can but only in whispers or annonymously (Im a terrible speller, sorry) on blogs.

    Even while the GOP is failing conservative principles to criticise to loudly is very riskly.

  8. John Says:

    “Sometimes stories lean left and sometimes they lean right. It’s a tough job and they’re doing the best they can. What doesn’t help them is this consistent badgering by critics that they have a liberal bias, when 99% of the stories that come over the wire you couldn’t tell came from a liberal or a conservative.

    The horse is dead. Let’s bury it.”

    Justin,

    Very, very well said. Too bad it just can’t be said loud or often enough.

  9. Paul Brinkley Says:

    “He said in his country one never spoke ill of the President–except in your home–and even then one only spoke in whispers.

    I’d say that’s just about where the GOP is today. it’s not possible to be in the party and disagree or criticise the president…we can but only in whispers or annonymously (Im a terrible speller, sorry) on blogs. ”

    Are you even for real? First off, this Korean fellow is apparently talking about all Koreans, not just Koreans in some “party” (assuming they have that). To claim the GOP has this power over all Americans is ludicrous beyond discussion. Secondly, the GOP doesn’t even have this power over all Americans who consider themselves Republican. Thirdly, the GOP doesn’t even have this power over -prominent- Republicans, such as John McCain, or Bill Frist.

    Exaggerations such as the above are why it’s extraordinarily hard for me to take even rational liberals seriously – I keep getting distracted by hyperboles.

  10. Justin Gardner Says:

    Exaggerations such as the above are why it’s extraordinarily hard for me to take even rational liberals seriously – I keep getting distracted by hyperboles.

    Listen, I’m a liberal and I don’t really exaggerate, unless it’s for comedic effect. Take me as an example of the majority of liberals and leave the ones who sound like they’re blowing things out of proportion for the fringe.

  11. jjc Says:

    “The “media is biased towards the leftâ€Â? is not a dead horse, it is one that is quite alive and still running because it still holds true.”

    I agree it’s not a dead horse. If and when it actually does die, right-wing propagandists will have suffered a grievous blow, and their relentless flogging of it makes abundantly clear how indispensable it is to them.

    And it isn’t just illiberals who believe this horse has legs. It’s marched in so many parades that it’s become a fixture in the mental picture that many relatively apolitical Americans have of conventional wisdom.

    Of course, believing in the liberal bias of the media amounts to the same thing as believing that journalists are merely politicians in disguise. If you believe journalism exists as an independent entity with its own ethos and agenda, you can conceive of a person doing journalism independent of his or her own political views.

    I think that most who complain about liberal bias in the media have their own idea of what journalism is, and any journalist not sharing that idea has no hope of ever pleasing them.

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